The Truth Within
First hear, then understand, and then, leaving all distractions, shut your mind to outside influences and devote yourself to developing the truth within you. There is the danger of frittering away your energies by taking up an idea only for its novelty, and then giving it up for another that is newer.
Take one thing up and do it, and see the end of it, and before you have seen the end, do not give it up. He who can become mad with an idea, he alone sees light.
One of the babblers in our garden is mad about the windows. Or is it his own reflection he finds threatening? I wonder. He comes and pecks at each one, turn after turn. Peck, peck, peck. He is so insistent, in fact , that the dogs have given up trying to shoo him away (and they are known to be quite dogged already). Quite mad. How did he get the idea of finding a competitor or a companion on the other side of the window? How did he get so mad about the prospect of beaking at the window? But then what is it to me? I am concerned with getting mad about an idea long enough to see light. And finding the truth within.
If I peck at each reflection I see, I might reach a personal nirvana at some point in time. Once the insistent tap-tapping has punctured holes in the indefatigable titanium of my fantasy-plane, light just might beam in. So, maybe, Swami Vivekananda’s concept may not be humbug after all. I’d reverently jotted these lines of his on my writing practise notebook, quite sure of my determination to finish one story. That was about 6 years back. I haven’t finished a single story. But I am still mad about the pecking. Honestly. And unlike the babbler, I do not see a competitor on the window pane. I see just the pane. It can be quite tiresome to communicate with a blank sheet of glass. But I admit it has its virtues, too. I can go on to explore each section, make patterns, fly off and come back and see if there’s a drifting feather stuck on to it. Yes. Maybe that is it. Maybe the stories need a drifting feather to see their completion.
The Caveman must have discovered the virtues of rhubarb*. Or it may have been The Neanderthal Man. It matters not. It does bother me, however, that before He saw the virtues of the Red Stalk, He must’ve eaten the lush greens of it. What made him get mad with the idea enough to jeopardise health over and over again. Had it not been for His burning desire to find more veggies to make pies with, we’d have been stuck with broccoli. Bless Him.
And bless Him for seamlessly bringing me to another concept that has been burning holes in my brain for a number of years. Fire. Fire is a concept, because
a. Its figurative aspect can make you grow crazy
b. The fact that all people sitting around a fire will hypnotically stare at it till the time there’s some rhubarb pie distraction (and subsequently go back to the staring) makes for a reasonable research concept.
I am concerned with b.
If there were a better way to express being consumed with an idea than fire, I’d use it. Perhaps this is why people sitting around fire cannot take their eyes off it.
Much like being mad with an idea. And I suppose the light that it gives will stand aside for a more brilliant one, once you see the end of it.*While I was looking for an interesting rhubarb picture on Wikipedia, I came across this singular piece of trivia. It is absolutely not related to being mad about an idea: Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, in the United States a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. A side effect was a reduction in taxes paid. (I decided not to use a rhubarb picture, by the way).